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Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Contest Entry · #2237374
Tom Turkey and his mentor plot survival
An Alternate Gig

         “Hello, Tom.”

         “Ben! Where have you been? I'm a nervous wreck.”

         “I've been working hard on your behalf.”

         “… and...”

         “I've got bad news.”

         “Oh, God. I'm going to be Thanksgiving dinner.”

         “I'm sorry. They didn't buy it. You lost the competition.”

         “Who won?”

         “The eagle.”

         “The eagle! How could they pick that disgusting bird?”

         “For my part. I wish they had not chosen the bald eagle to represent our country.”

         “He is a bird of bad moral character.”

         “He does not get his living honestly ... besides; he is a rank coward.”

         “Yes. The little king bird not bigger than a sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the district.”

         “I'm sorry, Tom.”

         “So how does this bird appear as the national symbol?”

         “The Congress adopted the design for the Great Seal of the United States depicting a bald eagle grasping 13 arrows and an olive branch with thirteen leaves, with its talons. The bird looks like he's been spread-eagled. Tom, I don't think you would look good in that position.”

         “Spread-eagle — fitting. I guess that's where that term came from.”

         “Many of them like to compare our new republic with the Roman Republic, where eagle imagery was prominent.

         “What's with the number 13? Isn't that supposed to be an unlucky number?”

         “Tom, shame on you. You wanted to be the national bird, and you don't know that we were 13 colonies, which became 13 states.”

         “I stand rebuked.”

         “Doesn't matter, you lost.”

         “Ben, what will happen to me?”

         “Cheer up. I may have another gig for you.”

         “What's that?”

         “How would you like to be the spokesman … spokesturkey … for a major brand?

         “What's a spokesturkey?”

         “Someone who represents the brand.”

         “What do I have to do?”

         “Pose for a lot of drawings of yourself to go on their label and make some personal appearances.”

         “Sounds easy. When do I start?”

         “You have to travel first.”

         “Travel to where?”


         “Kentucky? Never heard of it. Where is it?”

         “Way out in the western wilderness beyond the frontier.”

         “That will take forever.”

         “You’ll be out of sight for Thanksgiving.”

         “So what happens when this gig is over? Will they send me back, or will I become their Thanksgiving dinner?”

         “They promised to release you into the forest. There's lots of forest there. In fact, it's all forest.”

         “Forest — forest! I don't know anything about forests. I've spent my whole life in the barnyard.”

         “Quit whining. I'm sure you'll survive, find a lovely hen turkey, and begin a family.”

         “What happens if I say no?”

         “Then you will become Thanksgiving dinner — my Thanksgiving dinner. I'll go get the ax.”

         “No! No! I'll go. What's the name of this brand?”

         “Wild Turkey Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey. 101 proof, by the way. I'll think of you every time I have a drink. Often, I hope.”

         “Great name. I feel better already. When do I leave?”

         “How about right now?”

         “Bye, Ben.”

         “Bye, Tom. Watch out for eagles.”


Word Count: 497

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